The holiday shopping season is crucial for the majority of businesses in Baltimore as well as across the nation. According to the National Retail Federation, most retailers depend on seasonal shopping for 20 percent of all annual sales. With so many elevated demands this time of year, there is always a heightened demand for extra holiday help.

Consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates that retailers will hire more than 755,000 employees nationwide for the 2015 holiday season. Positions expected to grow will primarily fall within the retail sector. Career Builder confirms that retail companies of all sizes tend to increase hiring more cashiers, stockers, warehouse workers, loading dock workers, managers and sales clerks around the holiday shopping season.

In addition to retail, projected growth for seasonal hiring practices include such fields as hospitality service, customer service, administrative and clerical professions, food preparation, sales, shipping and delivery services and many others. Every holiday season also calls for the formation of newly created positions. Wal-Mart, for example, recently established a manager of store pickups position at 3,000 Wal-Mart stores including locations around Baltimore. Overall, Wal-Mart will hire 555 seasonal workers in the state of Maryland, according to the Baltimore Sun.

A continuous demand for online shopping has spurred more technology-based and cyber security-related jobs as well. Amazon recently announced a plan to create 100,000 seasonal positions across the country. The Baltimore location, which already employs more than 3,000 workers, plans to also add more seasonal jobs, according to Baltimore Business Journal. Other companies around Baltimore are hiring both in-store retail workers as well as e-commerce hires. Kohl’s, for example, has 23 stores in Maryland and plans to hire 50 people per store as part of an overall goal for more than 69,000 seasonal employees, according to USA Today.

While some seasonal jobs are extensions of regular jobs calling for extra help, other jobs are purely seasonal in the fact that the positions only exist around the holidays. One such position is that of a mall or department store Santa Claus. Some venues advertise locally for such positions via classified ads. Others hire professionally trained Santa actors that have completed training programs. The International University of Santa Claus offers courses on how to be Santa Claus, as do NOERR Programs, which even offer job placement. Arundel Mills Mall and other local venues often hire a seasonal Santa through the NOERR Programs. The salary scale for playing Santa typically starts at $10 but may pay as much as $175 an hour in some cases, according to Job Monkey.

Seasonal hiring often begins in October with positions slated through mid-January. The busiest days for these positions include Black Friday through the holiday season and the first couple weeks in January.

Laura Catherine Hermoza has a lifelong love for writing. In addition to serving as a contributor to various media publications, she is also a published novelist of several books and works as a proofreader/editor. LC resides in Baltimore County.

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